Luton Airport’s revised master plan – with increased noise “the elephant in the room”
Luton Airport has today released its revised Master Plan for airport expansion, starting a 6-week public consultation. However, detail on the environmental impacts of the proposals is not going to be made available until the planning application is submitted in November. Local campaign group, HALE, commented that the owners and operators want to increase capacity to match Stansted and Manchester, even though Luton Airport is on a cramped site and surrounded by towns and villages. The proposals for expansion would result in 58% more flights than in 2011 – an average 160 extra flights per day. There would also be a longer morning ‘rush hour’ with flights every 90 seconds at peak times. The noise limits set are so high that they would have little effect, and the larger planes are likely to be more noisy than those currently using Luton. The noise insulation offered by the airport does not cure the problem.
“AIRCRAFT NOISE IS THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM” SAY CAMPAIGNERS
3rd Sep 2012 (HALE – Hertfordshire Against Luton Expansion)
Luton Airport has today released its revised Master Plan for airport expansion (http://www.london-luton.co.uk/masterplan ), commencing a 6-week public consultation [closes 12th October]. But detail on the environmental impacts of the proposals is not going to be made available until the planning application is submitted in November.
Reviewing the latest plan, Andrew Lambourne co-founder of HALE said “The owners and operators want to increase capacity to match Stansted and Manchester, even though Luton Airport is on a cramped site and surrounded by towns and villages.”
The latest plan confirms that
it would result in 58% more flights than in 2011 – an average 160 extra flights per day. It would also widen the ‘rush hours’ so the current morning peak between 06:00 and 09:00 may start earlier. The density of noise would increase, with flights every 90 seconds at peak. And with double the number of passengers on road and rail, improving airport access roads is not going to solve the wider problem of congestion.
“Window dressing has been applied to make the plans look more friendly – for example there is talk of setting noise limits, but the limits are so high that the benefit will be lost in the noise” said Tim Moss of HALE.
“The mix of flights is getting noisier every year due to larger planes and longer routes – yet they are talking of still larger planes, and the noise insulation they’re offering does not cure the problem. Are they going to insulate homes in Hertfordshire, which is where most of the noise goes? How do you noise-insulate your garden if you want to have a barbecue? The levels of noise become intolerable at busy times – they need to be substantially and provably reduced before any talk of airport expansion.”
Andrew Lambourne summarised other key concerns: “The lack of detail is not going to go down well with people who have had the threat of expansion hanging over them for most of this year. People are woken by aircraft at night – they will be disappointed to see no commitment to reducing night flight numbers.”
There is vague talk of new engines to reduce noise, but no detail whatsoever of whether or when this will happen and what effect it would have. Noise impact is still being talked of in terms of meaningless contours rather than numbers of noisy flights.
They talk of getting passengers to use public transport rather than their own cars but plan to build a huge new multistorey carpark onsite.
None of the Environmental Impact issues will be clarified during the consultation period.
Nevertheless people should still make their views very clear during the consultation by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Consultation on the new plans runs from 3rd September to 12th October 2012, and members of the public can download the plans from www.london-luton.co.uk/masterplan
and visit the HALE website at www.hale.uk.net for latest reaction.
HALE (Hertfordshire Against Luton Expansion) is a campaign group committed to opposing plans to expand the capacity of Luton Airport which will export further noise and pollution to Hertfordshire. It represents communities all around the airport.
Details of the Master Plan, how to respond etc at
Consultation closed 12th October 2012
Responses to the Master Plan consultation:
From LADACAN http://www.ladacan.org/
From HALE http://www.hale.uk.net/hale-responds/
Luton airport expansion plans for 18mppa given decisive “thumbs down” on environmental grounds
August 15, 2012 Luton Airport’s owner (Luton Borough Council) and operator (London Luton Airport Operations Ltd) have together announced they are set to submit plans to increase capacity to allow for a maximum of 18 million passengers per year, from current levels of around 10 million. The reasons put forward by Luton Borough Council for these proposals centre around creating wealth, and they hope it would allow the airport to “continue to deliver sustainable growth” benefiting residents and passengers”. The local campaign group HALE (Hertfordshire Against Luton Expansion), which opposes further expansion at the airport, commented that Luton Borough Council in only interested in milking the airport for cash, and talk of “sustainable” airport growth is an oxymoron. Another local campaign group, LADACAN (Luton & District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise) criticised the absence of any mention of the environmental impact of increased aircraft noise, which would inevitably be a result of a flight leaving every 90 seconds – resulting in continuous noise over people’s heads starting at 6 am in the morning. Public consultation on the plans is scheduled to start on Sept 3rd. Click here to view full story…
See comments on the pre-application consultation from Ladacan